ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As Black History Month continues, WALB spoke with advocates in South Georgia who are working to create safe spaces for all men and women to come together in unity and love.
With a push for social justice across the country, advocates in South Georgia are turning ideas into action, and continuing that push is King Randall, mentor and founder of The X for Boys. It’s an organization created with a focus on community outreach and life skills training against all odds.
“I teach them, I mold them, I love them,” Randall said. “Our motto is let us make man, and if you look at the scripture it says, ‘Let us make men.’ So for me, I took that as God saying I need assistance with making men.”
Randall said witnessing the deaths of young Black Americans at the hands of police has given his conversation a different tone.
“A lot of my children, their family members, etc., were getting killed here in Albany by people of our own race. So, those things were affecting them more than somebody telling us that somebody else is out hunting us when it seems like their being hunted by their own. So, they weren’t interested in conversations about George Floyd. They were more interested in what’s happening at home,” said Randall.
To help them, Randall said his outreach to the community is to never turn any child away — no matter their circumstance.
“It’s kind of like a unity thing, and the root word in community is ‘unity,’ so I think that’s something in the community that we have to work on and help each other and help young men and young women be able to get out of their troubles,” said Randall.
Randall hopes this will create change for years and years to come.
Andrea Collins created The Peace Movement and overcome overseers to acknowledge how Black Americans overcame segregation and inequality while standing together in the face of adversity.
“Here in Albany, Georgia was one of the places where Dr. Martin Luther King had the hardest time. He had the hardest time in Albany, Georgia, as opposed to any other place,” Collins said.
Collins is the owner of the Slater King House in Albany — a constant reminder of where we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re headed.
“In spite of the strife and the hurt and the pain and the violence inflicted upon them and their families, they stayed the course. They didn’t deviate from the purpose. And we don’t go back to where we came from enough,” Collins said.
And through Slater King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she has formed her own dream.
“But I know the purpose and the mission is to overcome, and we as a people should take responsibility for our actions,” said Collins. “My dream is to continue the legacy, so I always thank every person who is involved and who will come on board with me to continue this peace movement. This is the reason why we’re able to go forward in this peace movement that I started in 2016 because of people like Dr. Martin Luther King and Slater King.”
Collins is currently working to launch an educational nonprofit centered around the home of Slater King and the history of the family.
Randall said he wants every boy in Albany to come through his organization at some point in their life.